Carful - Driving into the Next Century at Full Speed

Automobile lover Ken Li turns his interest into a start-up. Automobile lover Ken Li turns his interest into a start-up.

Hong Kong Carful (Group) Limited (Carful) is an intelligent car rental platform, founded in September 2020 by CityU undergraduate student Ken Li Sheung-kwan and his high school best friend Harris Dai, who are both automobile lovers. Capitalising on the rise of the sharing economy, the start-up aims to provide a reliable, one-stop car rental service, and promote the efficient use of resources by maximising vehicle utilisation.

Having secured HK$5 million in seed investment from an angel investor, Carful currently has 10 employees with an average age of 23. It made six-figure revenue in the first few months and aims to break even within a year. Carful was recognised as “Excellent Brand of Car Rental Service” at the Hong Kong Leaders’ Choice 2021, organised by the Metro Finance Radio.

Ken greatly appreciates the help and support from CityU's Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO). He spent time between classes at the Innovation Commons (IC) drafting his proposal and soliciting advice, and represented CityU at the 2019 Meet Taipei Innovation and Entrepreneurship Carnival, facilitated by the KTO.

Despite the failure to impress over 100 investment firms in Hong Kong and mainland China, Ken’s efforts were not futile. Throughout the process he realised his limitations as a student majoring in Chinese and History. So he invited his high school best friend, Billy Yeung, who is studying computer science at CityU, to join him and provide support on the technology development side.

Looking forward, Ken hopes to develop Carful as the first automobile financing service system in Hong Kong and wants to make the most of the opportunities offered by CityU to take Carful to the next level.

“HK Tech 300 is an excellent programme for CityU students and alumni who are keen to launch a start-up,” says Ken. “For those who have little or no STEM background, like me, the networking sessions organised by HK Tech 300 are a great platform to find partners from different backgrounds. Publicity is also very important for start-ups. HK Tech 300 provides a great opportunity for new businesses to get exposure.”

(May 2021)

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